PART 1: Mark Your Calendars for September
Global Surveyor's Charles Whetsel will be our guest for the Tuesday, September 23 WebChat at 9 a.m., PST. Charles is the spacecraft systems engineer and is responsible for making sure that MGS meets all of the scientific objectives that are planned for this mission. To prepare for the chat read Charles' bio at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/team/whetsel.html To participate in the WebChat, RSVP at least 24 hours in advance to reserve a space for yourself. Send RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org You will receive confirmation of your registration and a password to enter the chat room. If the chat rooms are full by the time you register, you can still participate by watching the chat from the Observe Room at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/events/interact.html
A NEW (SCHOOL) YEAR'S WELCOME TO... Live From Mars
Dear Educators, On behalf of Passport to Knowledge and the NASA Quest Project, we'd like to welcome both newcomers and returning teachers to a new school year and a new chance to experience Live From Mars. Our project has demonstrated that it's flexible enough to be successfully implemented over the coming months whether you and your students have never participated before and don't know exactly what an "electronic field trip" might be, or whether you've logged hundreds of thousands of "Passport Miles" by traveling with us to Antarctica, up into the stratosphere, out to Neptune and Pluto, or began your exploration of Mars with us in the last school year. We invite you to spend a few minutes to find out what's new, what's been working for educators like you, and a few ideas about how to participate. What's New? Most important and exciting was this summer's incredibly successful landing of NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft on Mars, and this fall's arrival of the Global Surveyor orbiter. Just about everyone, teachers and students alike, witnessed the TV newscasts and front page stories on Pathfinder's July 4 landing, the amazing color images and the travels of Sojourner, the first robotic rover to explore another planet. Kids and adults followed along with amusement and delight as scientists nicknamed the rocks they were exploring "Barnacle Bill" and "Yogi." Perhaps what's most exciting about the Live From Mars project is that it gives you and your students many different ways to interact with the people who were front page news this summer, and who will continue to explore Mars. It also takes you behind the scenes at NASA to witness the inside story of cutting-edge scientific research, and relates the exploration of Mars to many of the scientific principles you'll want to cover in class, whatever grade you teach. What is "Live From Mars"? An integrated multimedia project, Live From Mars (LFM) is supported in part by both NASA and the National Science Foundation, and directed by Passport to Knowledge, an independent producer of prime time educational television and instructional materials. LFM offers live TV and tapes, online materials and opportunities, and hands-on activities. LFM is very flexible and we suggest a "menu" of ways to participate below. Video Two, 60-minute TV programs will be broadcast this fall on NASA-TV and on participating PBS stations. "Destination Mars," to air October 30, will background both missions, introduce Mars as perhaps the most exciting planet to visit in our solar system, and summarize Pathfinder's summer success and the findings of the first months on Mars. "Today on Mars," to air November 13, will feature the arrival of Mars Global Surveyor and its first results. It will showcase a national online student collaboration to gather weather data from sites across North America and compare and contrast it with a "weathercast" from Mars! Both programs will contain student interaction with members of NASA's Mars teams, demonstrations of how students have worked with hands-on science projects simulating aspects of the missions, and suggestions for how to get the most out of the project's online components. Online You're just a few clicks away from exploring an abundance of resources. Take the Guided Tour. Biographies and journals bring your students closer to the men and women of these challenging missions than is possible in any textbook. These first-person, behind-the-scenes research diaries reveal what it's like to work at NASA through revealing and memorable anecdotes. The Photo Gallery provides images of spacecraft and Mars, both from the 1976 Viking missions and the current Pathfinder and Surveyor explorations. Soon to be added is a Guided Tour of Ares Vallis. Imagine yourself on Mars with Pathfinder (the ultimate field trip!), guided by insights of NASA's brightest and best. Sound neat? That's something only our Live From Mars site can offer, using RealAudio and RealVideo to let Matt and Ron and Joy (see how close LFM can make you feel?) speak directly to you and your students! Also new, and coming soon, "Mars Concentration" and "Red Planet Sliders," two sets of interactive online puzzlers that will challenge your visual memory and knowledge of Mars, using some of Pathfinder's latest images. Lastly, debuting 9/16, there's "Weather Worlds." In this online collaborative activity, students are challenged to brainstorm what low-cost instruments it would take to record weather near their schools, and to compare and contrast their results with what Pathfinder has been discovering on Mars. E-Mail Lists If you're interested and you've not already done so, subscribe to one or more of the e-mail lists. For all the latest news we offer this weekly online newsletter. If you want to share ideas with other teachers, make suggestions to the project, we invite you to subscribe to the special Live From Mars teacher discussion forum. This moderated group provides a kind of "virtual faculty lounge" with advice for teachers of just about every grade level and subject. To get on this list, send e-mail to: email@example.com and in the message field write only: subscribe discuss-lfm And there's another way for teachers to find support from fellow teachers: in the Teacher's Lounge section of the Web site check out "Fellow Teachers Can Help" to find out how you can interact with some of America's most innovative and most enthusiastic teachers, who've signed up to mentor peers via the Internet! Hands-on Activities One hallmark of every Passport to Knowledge (PTK) project is an original Teacher's Guide, supported by a poster, student worksheets, and other instructional materials ($20, including postage.) A multimedia kit including the Guide, a teacher orientation video, additional posters, a set of slides, and the "Mars Navigator" CD-ROM is also available ($99.00.) To find out how to order, check the LFM Web site (http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars, or call the Hotline (1-908-273-4108). How Much Time Should You Invest? Evaluation has shown that there are many different ways to use PTK projects successfully. Since this is an electronic field trip, you can think about the options as "Economy" or "First Class" travel packages. "Economy" Take the Guided Tour of the Web site. Be sure to access What's New for the latest from NASA's Mars missions. Stop by the Mars Team pages with biographies and journals. In Featured Events note the "WebChat" schedule, your opportunity to interact directly with NASA experts. Look at the Kid's Corner; your students could be featured here in the months ahead! Go to the Teachers' Lounge and review the online version of the Teacher's Guide and the Multimedia Kit. Visit the Video section and check out the schedule for upcoming broadcasts. Do some hands-on activities and watch the programs! "First Class" Of course, do all the Economy options, but also order the videos from 1996-97. Order the Multimedia Kit and review the Teacher Resource Video for background and ideas for implementation. Participate in Weather Worlds. Stage several hands-on activities. Watch the fall '97 videos and be sure to gather assessment data: we're sure you'll be amazed at how much your students have been learning (and we'd like to hear reactions from you and from them!) You'll soon learn what works best for your and your students and you'll be able to build on the successes of the year before -- shared by fellow teachers in the "discuss" archives. And it won't be over soon. NASA plans to launch missions to Mars about every two years, so you'll have "Real Science, Real Time" to share with new groups of students in the years ahead... and you'll all be master teachers! Knowledge about Mars and NASA's missions will be "cached" in your brain, so your teaching will be both better and easier! Whatever level of involvement you choose, we wish you luck in the months ahead. So, on behalf of NASA, the National Science Foundation, Passport to Knowledge and NASA's Quest Project, Onward and Upward, to Mars and Beyond... Geoff Haines-Stiles Project Director, Passport to Knowledge and the Live From... specials Sandy Dueck Project Manager, NASA Quest Project
WATCH MARS NEWS CONFERENCES OVER THE INTERNET!
Now you can watch NASA TV coverage of the Mars missions over the Internet. To do this, you will need RealMedia Player, which you can download free of charge from Progressive Networks, and at least a 14.4 modem connection for RealAudio and 28..8 for RealVideo. To view the audio and video archives for Global Surveyor go to: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/video/gs/ for Pathfinder: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/video/news
JULY 6 & 9 LFM PROGRAMS AVAILABLE ON TAPE NOW!
Passport To Knowledge provides Touchdown! (Program 3A) and Touchdown + 6! (Program 3B) on videotape at cost of production and shipping/handling. Both tapes sell for $35.00 (per two-hour tape) and are available now for quick shipment! See http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/video/index.html for more details about each program. The 1997 summer Live From Mars programs have incredibly exciting footage of the Mars Pathfinder landing and Sojourner's first images, sheer excitement of the week's events and Mars Team jubilant celebration at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as well as loads of interviews with Mars Team members including Donna Shirley, Rob Manning, Matt Golombek, Peter Smith, Brian Muirhead and others! You will also see educators, students and museum guests model related hands-on learning activities. Footage from around the U.S. at live uplink sites including NASA's Classroom of the Future, the Denver Museum of Natural History, Houston's Museum of Natural Science, Center Of Science and Industry-Columbus, Ohio, The Planetary Society's Planetfest Convention and Maryland Science Center-Baltimore recaptures this summer's biggest event in planetary exploration ever for you and your students and will serve as an vital resource as you prepare students for the upcoming LIVE November 13 "Today on Mars" broadcast. To place your order, send a check, purchase order, or money order made out to Passport to Knowledge. Clearly indicate which program (3A "Touchdown" or 3B "Touchdown + 6," or both) you are ordering. NOTE: Each program is TWO hours in length!) Your order will be shipped upon receipt. Passport to Knowledge P.O. Box 1502 Summit, NJ 07902-1502 Label the envelope: LFM Program 3A/3B in order to speed processing. You may also fax your order to: 908-277-9590 Questions, call: 908-273-4108 (Information applies to U.S. orders only. Sorry no credit card orders!)
MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR FLIGHT STATUS
[Editor's note: This status report was prepared by the Office of the Flight Operations Manager, Mars Surveyor Operations Project, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.] Saturday, 13 September 1997 At 11:59 p.m. PDT, Surveyor is climbing upward toward the high point of its second orbit around Mars. This point lies at an altitude of 33,569 miles (54,024 km), and will be reached at 1:58 p.m. on Sunday. Currently, the spacecraft's velocity relative to the surface of Mars measures 1696 m.p.h. (758 meters per second). The starting point of Surveyor's second orbit was over a location just north of a dark feature called Syrtis Major. On August 20, the camera obtained a long-range image of this area while on approach to the red planet. This image is available for public access on the Surveyor web site. Early Saturday morning, the flight team transmitted the T2 command sequence to Surveyor. This sequence will control the spacecraft for the next two days and contains tasks that will configure Surveyor and its science payload for orbital operations at Mars. One of the first activities in T2 was the activation of the Magnetometer, Mars Orbiter Camera, and Thermal Emission Spectrometer science instruments on Saturday evening. For a period of four hours after activation, the three science teams monitored data transmitted from Surveyor to verify the health status of their instruments. The magnetometer and spectrometer will now begin to collect data on a continuous basis. Unlike the previous two instruments, the camera must be pointed directly at the planet in order to perform imaging. The first of these opportunities will occur during a 15-minute time period centered at the start of third orbit on Monday at 12:28 p.m. PDT. In addition, the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter will also collect science data during Monday's opportunity. Surveyor will store the information from the science instruments on its solid-state data recorders. On every orbit, the data will be transmitted back to Earth during two sessions. One of these sessions will occur just after the start of the orbit. The other one will take place half an orbit later, about three hours after passing through the high point. After a mission-elapsed time of 310 days from launch, Surveyor is 158.64 million miles (255.31 million kilometers) from the Earth and in an orbit around Mars with a period of 45 hours. The spacecraft is currently executing the T2 command sequence, and all systems continue to be in excellent condition.
SUBSCRIBING & UNSUBSCRIBING: HOW TO DO IT!
If this is your first message from the updates-lfm list, welcome! To catch up on back issues, please visit the following Internet URL: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/updates To subscribe to the updates-lfm mailing list (where this message came from), send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org In the message body, write these words: subscribe updates-lfm CONVERSELY... To remove your name from the updates-lfm mailing list, send a message to: email@example.com In the message body, write these words: unsubscribe updates-lfm If you have Web access, please visit our "continuous construction" site at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars